New York, Baby
In February, Fiona and I just did that thing we’d always dreamt of doing and said,
“SCREW IT, LET’S JUST GO!”
So we booked to go to New York City for a full week. What an incredibly stressful three weeks of planning I had before hand, but holy shizznit, was it worth it!
We’d booked a hotel through Secret Escapes that was right beside the Empire State Building, which is very central to Manhattan so planning what was around us, was going to be a little easier. First off, I found a blank map online of Manhattan and used this as a starting point to mark my own things on. After buying three books, watching countless videos and reading many blog websites about the best things to go and see, I felt pretty confident we’d cover everything. I was wrong. There is just no way you can do EVERYTHING in one trip.
The map I made was quite detailed for photography, having the location and best time to head to each location based on the suns position in the sky for that time we were there. I also included well-researched a list of bars and restaurants (even including happy hour times!), mostly recommendations from friends and family who both have been there or live there.
Here are just some of the photos I brought back with me.
The trophy Shots
As far as trophy images go, there were two absolute definite shots on my list. The view from the Rockefeller at sunset, and the view of Downtown Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge Park at sunset. These both were meticulously planned and organised so we’d be in the right place at the right time.
The Top of the Rock
This was a tricky one to get as there were so many people with the same idea. The mad rush up to the top for everyone was exciting and nervous. The fear at the bottom of the tower that I would only be allowed one camera with lens attached was unbelievable. I brought my Fuji XT2 with two lenses – 50-140mm and 10-24mm. Luckily the passer-by comment from another sweaty, anxious tourist wasn’t correct. No problem getting two lenses through the intense security.
The next part of the challenge was to be patient. I saw a lot of people try a few different techniques. People stood their ground in a particular spot and did not move at all for anyone for an hour or more, or what I did, which was just move around, enjoy the view and just talk to the other people up there. So many people from so many different parts of the world. Easy to spark up a conversation and they all were happy enough for you to take a minute or two to compose a photo (or 50).
THE VIEW FROM BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK
This was much more relaxed. The view was incredible and so easy to stop, sit back and enjoy it, away from the camera, which is something I think we all need to remember to do.
The park is pretty long and spacious. There is a particular area that everyone wants to get to with the old jetty sticking out of the water. But, again, pretty spacious. A good few other tourists came down to capture the views and were very interesting to chat to.
The gear I took with me was pretty light. As always, I had to really kick myself and take the minimum amount of stuff with me. In the end, I brought my Fuji X100T and XT2 with 50-140 and 10-24mm lenses. Beyond that, I had a Manfrotto BeFree tripod, Lee Filters system (Little Stopper, Big Stopper, 0.9 ND grad), and a load of batteries.